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Long Distance Hiking recommended route

Dolomites high trail 4

Long Distance Hiking · Hochpustertal
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  • Die Dreischusterhütte
    Die Dreischusterhütte
    Photo: Steffen 962, Wikimedia Commons
m 2500 2000 1500 1000 500 60 50 40 30 20 10 km
The Dolomites High-Altitude Trail No. 4 leads from San Candido in the Puster Valley through the eastern Dolomites to Pieve di Cadore in the province of Belluno.
difficult
Distance 69.5 km
30:00 h
5,770 m
6,065 m
2,557 m
878 m
Trail no. 4 is one of the shorter, but at the same time also one of the more demanding Dolomite high-altitude trails. Numerous sections lead over secured paths and also include free climbing passages up to the II degree of difficulty, which requires alpine experience and climbing skills. The high-altitude trail continuously inspires with breathtaking high-mountain landscapes - with the mighty Three Peaks starting over the craggy Cadini group and the mighty stock of the Sorapiss group up to Monte Antelao, the second highest peak of the Dolomites, this tour can hardly be surpassed in impressive scenery. The high-altitude trail is also called the Grohmann high-altitude trail, as it is dedicated to the Austrian alpinist Paul Grohmann. The trail is marked with the Dolomites High Altitude Trail markings as well as red-white-red markings. In the following, the route is divided into eleven sections, mostly the high-altitude trail is mastered in six to eight daily stages.

Author’s recommendation

It is advisable to reserve your sleeping places in good time! Most huts are open from the beginning of July to the end of September.
Difficulty
difficult
Technique
Stamina
Experience
Landscape
Highest point
2,557 m
Lowest point
878 m
Best time of year
Jan
Feb
Mar
Apr
May
Jun
Jul
Aug
Sep
Oct
Nov
Dec

Safety information

  • The high-altitude trail can only be recommended to persevering mountaineers with sufficient alpine experience and climbing skills in secured and free terrain (up to difficulty level II). Absolute sure-footedness and freedom from vertigo as well as orientation skills are required!
  • On steep mountain flanks and secured climbs there is a risk of falling rocks, so it is essential to wear a rockfall helmet! 
  • Be careful after prolonged rainfall, when there is residual snow and icing in early summer, as well as during fog and thunderstorms!
  • A solo ascent is not advised.

Start

San Candido (1,176 m)
Coordinates:
DD
46.729937, 12.280520
DMS
46°43'47.8"N 12°16'49.9"E
UTM
33T 292214 5178745
w3w 
///slated.crescendo.irritant
Show on Map

Destination

Pieve di Cadore

Turn-by-turn directions

Stage 1: San Candido - Dreischusterhütte

From San Candido railway station we head south-east along the Sextenbach stream. At the Gasthaus zum Klaus, our trail (no. 105) branches off to the right into the Innerfeldtal valley. In the forest we hike into the valley until we reach the car park at Antoninstein. There we turn right off the road and trail no. 7A leads us uphill. We meet the road again and soon reach the Dreischusterhütte (1626 m).

Stage 2: Dreischusterhütte - Dreizinnenhütte

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On trail no. 105 we hike in a south-westerly direction, then southwards further into the valley. At the fork at the end of the valley, trail no. 9 leads us to the right in steep hairpin bends up to the Schwarzboden plain (1895 m). Take trail no. 10 for the strenuous ascent over steep scree slopes to the Großes Wildgrabenjoch (2289 m). From there we continue on trail no. 11 in a south-easterly direction. Through a secured gully, over scree and scree, you walk along the foot of the Schwabenalpenkopf. In a right-hand bend, trail no. 11 continues eastwards, meets trail no. 105 again and leads to the Gwengalpenjoch. Through a rocky gully, the trail climbs steeply onto a rocky ridge and up to the saddle at the prominent Toblinger Knoten. Finally, the last stretch follows downhill to the Dreizinnenhütte (2405 m).

Section 3: Dreizinnenhütte - Auronzo Hut

.

The next day, the western hike around the Three Peaks is on the agenda. We start on trail no. 105 in a southerly direction. At the fork, we stay on this trail, which leads across rock-strewn meadows to the right, then left at the next fork and then in switchbacks down to the Rienzboden. Steeply at first, then more gently across a plateau, the trail then continues southwest to the Langealm. Below on the left, the Zinnen lakes come into view. After passing a shoulder, we head south and cross to the Forcella del Col de Mezo. We then head south-east over partly green slopes until we meet the asphalt road and reach the Auronzo Hut (2320 m) a little later.

Stage 4: Auronzo Hut - Rifugio Fonda Savio

.

The fourth stage is a traverse of the craggy Cadini di Misurina and leads along the Sentiero Bonacossa. From the Auronzo hut, trail no. 117 leads us along old war paths, first in a southerly direction to Forcella Longères, then up to the crest of Monte Campedelle. In steep, rocky terrain, we descend its south-eastern flank. Through a tunnel we reach the saddle of the Cima Cadin di Rinbianco. On a partly secured ledge we go into its east face, there under a rock roof. On the following path, which leads down a steep slope on the left, we are careful. To the right we reach an intersection, from which we first descend via a ladder, then on a wire rope onto a ribbon. This is partly secured and finally leads to the south ridge of the Cima Cadin di Rinbianco. Along the ridge, the ascent is partly airy and then leads to the Forcella di Rinbianco. We continue along trail no. 117, which leads into the Vallon di Nevaio. The scree-strewn cirque through which we now climb is bordered on the right by the mighty Torre Wundt. At the fork, stay on path no. 117 to head for the Rifugio Fonda Savio (2367 m). After climbing a scree slope, through a scree gully and over narrow, secured ledges, it is in sight.

Stage 5: Rifugio Fonda Savio - Rifugio Città di Carpi

.

The next day we follow the Sentiero Durissini along the eastern side of the central Cadini di Misurina. To do this, we descend briefly on a familiar path before following path 112 B eastwards on the right. At a memorial plaque, we first go through a gully, then around a rib and into a hollow. In hairpin bends we reach the Forcella della Torre. From there we climb into the Cadin Deserto; a gully and a subsequent exposed climb then lead further to the Forcella Sabbiosa. There we can already see our next intermediate destination, the Forcella Cadin Deserto. From here we continue to Forcella Cristina. There follows another intermediate descent through a crevice and over hairpin bends into the scree cirque Cadin de le Pere. A little later we leave path 112 B and cross to path no. 116, which leads us steeply up to the saddle of the Cime di Maraia. We finally descend across alpine meadows to the Rifugio Città di Carpi (2110 m).

Stage 6: Rifugio Città di Carpi - Rifugio Vandelli

From the Rifugio, the sixth stage leads down to the junction at Forcella Maraia, from where trail 116/120 takes us southwest to Col del Viero. We hike slightly downhill westwards, at the next fork we have to keep to the left of trail 116. At a bend to the right, head southwest and you will come to a forest road. Follow it to the right in the forest, still on trail 116. Through forest and across meadows, we reach a track and soon cross SR 48 in Val d'Ansiei. From now on, we follow trail no. 217, which leads us southwestwards into Val Bona, then into Val Sorapiss. From the valley station of the material cable car we climb up to the "Piss" waterfall and then steeply and quite laboriously towards the south. Finally, we reach the Circo di Sorapiss and the Rifugio Vandelli.

Stage 7: Rifugio Vandelli - Bivacco Comici

.

This stage is one of the most demanding and requires climbing skills of difficulty level II. However, the most difficult, exposed passages are well secured. Climb No. 243 first leads east, but then north to the vertical west flank of the Croda del Fogo. Iron ladders and wire ropes secure the climb over the band system, a steep chimney, a gully, several gullies and rock steps have to be crossed or climbed. We reach the northern ridge of the Croda del Fogo, from there we descend over a steep slope into a hollow and further over scree. At a shoulder, the path turns to the east side of the peak. Southwards, finally over an airy drop-off, we descend to the Bivacco Comici.

Stage 8: Bivacco Comici - Rifugio San Marco

.

The eighth stage is a rather long, energy-sapping tour through the east walls of the central Sorapiss group. From the bivouac, trail no. 243 first leads into a hollow below the Croda del Banco. From there it goes quite steeply uphill to the Forcella Bassa del Banco, there southwest to the "Scorcitoia" marker and left down onto a narrow, airy band with secured and free climbing passages. After a short section through scree, the demanding band of the Cengia inferiore follows the Colli Neri southwards. On trail no. 247 you reach the end of the Val di San Vito. On trail no. 226 we continue southwards towards Torre dei Sabbioni and Forcella Grande (2255 m). From there we continue the tour steeply downhill to Rifugio San Marco.

Stage 9: Rifugio San Marco - Rifugio Galassi

.

From Rifugio San Marco follows a long traverse to the east. At the junction of trail 229, it goes straight into a high valley, then in steep switchbacks to a fork. We decide to take the left option and arrive at the Forcella Piccola, then in a right turn to the Rifugio Galassi.

Stage 10: Rifugio Galassi - Rifugio Antelao

.

On this day, the longest and one of the most demanding stages of the high-altitude trail awaits us with the traverse of the Antelao massif. From the rifugio, we head south on trail 250 towards the Antelao glacier. At the foot of the glacier, the demanding Via ferrata del Cadorin (II) begins, leading to the Forcella del Ghiacciaio (2584 m). From there, the trail continues eastwards with some climbing sections (I), later descending steeply southwards into the Valle Antelao. Trail no. 250 then leads us southeastwards over vegetated slopes until we meet no. 230 and follow it to Forcella Piria. From there, the trail heads east on easy terrain to the Rifugio Antelao.

.

Stage 11: Rifugio Antelao - Pieve di Cadore

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The last section proves to be a pleasant descent into the Piave valley. We stick to trail no. 250, which leads us eastwards first to Forcella Antracisa. We then continue on trail no. 252 to Monte Trànego. From there, the descent is made in many hairpin bends first to Pozzale and finally to Pieve di Cadore.

Note


all notes on protected areas

Public transport

Public-transport-friendly

Take the train to San Candido station

.

At the end of the tour by bus from Pieve di Cadore back to San Candido

.

Getting there

Via the Brenner motorway A22 to the exit Brixen/Vahrn (Pustertal), then on the state road (SS49-E66) to Innichen

Coordinates

DD
46.729937, 12.280520
DMS
46°43'47.8"N 12°16'49.9"E
UTM
33T 292214 5178745
w3w 
///slated.crescendo.irritant
Show on Map
Arrival by train, car, foot or bike

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Equipment

Sturdy and well-worn hiking boots, comfortable and functional clothing (windproof, waterproof, several layers), KS set, rockfall helmet, rope, ice axe, crampons, large rucksack with rain cover, map and compass, sun protection, lamp, first aid kit, water and food supply, camping equipment with bivouac/sleeping bag.

Localisation

Parts of this content were machine translated using German as the source language for the translation


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Difficulty
difficult
Distance
69.5 km
Duration
30:00 h
Ascent
5,770 m
Descent
6,065 m
Highest point
2,557 m
Lowest point
878 m
Public-transport-friendly Multi-stage route Scenic Refreshment stops available Geological highlights Linear route

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